Communities in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State on Sunday rejected a goat and 10 bags of rice presented to the elders and people of the area by the management of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NOAC, for Christmas celebration.
The Christmas gift to the host communities in Nembe was reportedly turned down by the Chairman of the Nembe Oil and Gas Committee, Nengi James, on behalf of eight communities in the local government.
The people of Nembe were reportedly irked because the oil company intended the gift to be shared by the people of the communities and fishing settlements.
In a statement issued on Sunday and made available to journalists in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, Mr. James described the gift as “a corporate embarrassment to the traditional institution and the good people of Nembe Kingdom.”
He said that Agip Oil’s gift of ten bags of rice and one goat to a community of about five hundred thousand people is a clear demonstration of the multinational company’s crass insensitivity to the community which is a major hub of Agip’s operations.
Mr. James said that the people of Nembe are contented people who will never be cowed by any Greek gift that will cause disaffection among the people of the area.
He said Nembe is in dire need of development and employment for the teeming unemployed youth and added that the community is also in need of environmental protection.
Mr. James warned that if the concerns are not properly handled, they could affect the harmonious relationship and peaceful coexistence between the company and the community.
When contacted, the Community Relations Manager of Agip, Onyeaghaa Dan, refused to speak. He also did not respond to text messages sent to his phone.